Travel brings many trials and tribulations, many of which can be attributed to language barriers.
Hand gestures and pointing only goes so far… especially when it comes to finding a toilet… awkward.
What we found in India is how detrimental ‘lost in translation’ situations can be – specifically when it comes to Trip Advisor reviews.
When reading reviews before going to India I picked several spots based on glowing reviews from happy travellers. What I failed to take into account was who was writing reviews… and what they are trying to say versus reality.
So for your viewing pleasure I’ve picked some reviews about places I ended up visiting that weren’t quite what they were made out to be:
Translation: This review is about a bridge in Mumbai. I mean it’s a nice bridge… but it’s a bridge. I wasn’t excited.
Translation: If you find peace and happiness in being stalked by hawkers, threatened, attacked by flying animals (these things are too big to be described as bugs) and eyed up by disease carrying stray dogs, then sure… you will find a shit load of peace and happiness and happiness here.
Translation: “Good natured but persistent” is truly the most diplomatic description I’ve ever heard. This person must be a politician. I watched the hawkers here bully tourists and literally jump on the back of a moving vehicle to try and sell their shit, scaring the bejesus out of visitors.
Translation: “Great shopping experience”, “For Sale” and “great demo” are interesting perceptions of this marble shop. After watching very talented craftsmen make marble art, we were locked in a room and forced to buy before we could leave. Then were told the owner is a mean alcoholic who is horrible to his staff… So in this case Great shopping experience = forced purchase from slave labour.
So friends, when it comes to Trip Advisor buyer beware… top tips:
- Look at where the reviewer comes from – perception is everything and people from different regions of the world to you may have different perceptions.
- People are welcome to have their own opinions – even if they are shit and wrong. Don’t take everyones opinion as gospel.
Ok that’s all for now… More actual tales from our actual trip to come soon. For now, rant over, thanks for listening 🙂